RA has effectively destroyed my life
My RA story begins a little over two years ago I would say probably around January 2013 when following a training session at the gym i noticed a sudden onset of searing pain in my left shoulder that came on so strong it left my nauseated and dizzy. I chalked it up to me not using proper form while exercising, swallowed a couple of Advil and forgot about it. Although I was still lifting following this episode i would get “flares” in different places every so often weeks apart. following the shoulder then came my hips. I remember limping on valentines day February 14th limping to visit my girlfriend at that time (now my ex) at her job.
I googled my symptoms and when I read about rheumatoid arthritis it horrified me and i stupidly lived in denial for the next couple of months (if only I had started aggressive treatment right away it might have went away). Advil was pretty good at relieving the inflammation and I would pop advil, take my pre workout and lifted weights. Fast forward to May 2013, a new personal training company came to my gym and I applied to become a trainer. I loved every minute of it, i was doing what i loved, had a gorgeous girlfriend and looked to be in really good shape. Little did i know my own body was destroying itself on the inside. Popping advil before a workout or lifting session became the norm, I was still in denial and felt like if I built enough muscle i would get better. I also added in mega doses of fish oils and glucosamine chondroiten.
Finnaly in August the pain in my knees and hips became so bad that i had to go to the emergency room.They gave me cortico-steroids and the attending told me that I should see a rheumatologist because this looks like RA. I felt like I had been given a death sentence. So a week later i go to see a rheumatologist and he orders blood work. came up positive for Rheumatoid factors. I was initially put on Enbrel in August 2013 and after three months of just getting worse I was switched to Humira for another 2 months. No results from Humira either after two months and just gave up . I fell into depression and stopped caring about myself, I loved my body and I worked hard to get where i was, I felt that it was unfair. I would curse god, the universe who ever I could to blame for my circumstances. I had suicidal thought every single day and cry myself to sleep. I even blamed my dad for his shitty genes he gave me. During those dark months I would self medicate with prednisone, and advil and marijuana.
Eventually my dad insisted that I go see another rheumatologist and maybe a more aggressive treatment would work. My rheumatologist put me on subq methotrexate and subq orencia and doxepin for sleep and depression. Although I am nearly 45% better I don’t feel like its enough.
My knees are completely wrecked they look swollen and pudgy all the time and click back and forth and painfully snap and grind on each other, i miss lifting heavy weight and still suffer from depression. Its painful to even look at my diseased and rotten body. My hands already have erosion in them and my elbows and shoulder snaps as well. I can’t keep a job because of these flares (I have had 3 different jobs this past year). All the research says that men go into remission faster is b*******. I spend all my time researching anything and everything that might reverse it enough just so I can lift weights again….that is all I really want.
This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The RheumatoidArthritis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.